Texts and Talks


Timothy Secret, The Politics and Pedagogy of Mourning: On Responsibility in Eulogy (London: Bloomsbury, 2015)

Timothy Secret’s book is quite remarkable: erudite, well written and argued, conceptually strong and original, it sheds a completely new light on a decisive moment of contemporary philosophy. There is little doubt that it will form an important contribution to debates about the work of the philosopher Jacques Derrida, but also the relationship between ethics, politics, ontology, psychoanalysis, and, not least, its designated “object”, the existential and moral phenomenon of mourning.

Etienne Balibar, Distinguished Professor, Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, UC Irvine, USA

Jacques Derrida famously stated in Specters of Marx that a justice worthy of the name must call us to render justice not only to the living but also to the dead. In The Politics and Pedagogy of Mourning, Timothy Secret argues that offering a persuasive account of such a duty requires establishing a discussion among the 20th century’s three key thinkers on death – Heidegger, Levinas and Freud. Despite arguing that none of these three figures’ discourses offers us a complete account of our duty to the dead and that it remains impossible to unify them into a single, consistent and correct approach, Secret nevertheless offers an account of how Derrida managed to produce an always singular articulation of these discourses in each of the acts of eulogy he offered for his philosophical contemporaries.


Chapters and Articles

  • ‘Dead Ringers: Plato and Turning the Camera Back’, Plato and the Moving Image, edited by Shai Binderman and Michael Weinman (Leiden: Brill, 2019)
  • ‘The Face of the Good Death: Levinas and Euthanasia’, New Formations 89/90 (2017)
  • ‘Instruments of Escape’, Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes, edited by Edgar Martins (London: The Moth House, 2016)
  • ‘Geometry and the Bed of Non-Meaning: Nicholas Abraham’s Science of Sciences’, ISSEI conference proceedings Cyprus 2012.
  • ‘Il n’y a pas la trace. Sur la notion de «trace» chez Derrida’, Les temps modernes no. 671 (December 2012)

Other Talks